Industry Group Proposes Fire Fighting Tool Practices

Following at six month consultation process the WSCA and key industry groups affected by high hazard forest activities defined by the B.C. Wildfire Act and Wildfire Regulation have presented guidelines intended to apply to vegetation management crews, silviculture operations and other industrial operations working with reduced road access, mobile operations and remote worksites.

Fire Fighting Hand Tools For British Columbia.doc

Background

The Wildfire Guidelines Committee recognized a significant void in BC’s regulatory framework with the application of the results-based approach to forestry-related activities outside the traditional forest industry. Therefore, the Committee is developing Guidelines that meet the intent of the new Wildfire Act and Regulation (the “Act”), and which provide practical guidance so operations can be undertaken safely, lawfully, and with reasonable confidence.

The Act applies to both industrial operations and forestry operations within 300m of forest or grass land. This means that guidelines should be relevant to a variety of sectors and operations, including, but not limited to, logging and silviculture operations, mining, utility operations (electrical, oil, gas, radio, microwave, and telephone service), exploration drilling, ski hill grooming, railway and highway vegetation management, road construction and maintenance, and others.

This is the first Guideline to be developed by the Committee, and covers requirements for Fire Suppression Systems and Fire Fighting Hand Tools under the Act, specifically the requirements of high hazard forestry activities where project worksite access is restricted or inaccessible by road. (Note: This draft incorporates information from the Interpretive Bulletin on the Application of the Wildfire Regulation for the Forest Industry, by the BC Forest Service, June 12/08). The Committee intends to further review these fire fighting tools and systems in the field for their practicality and effectiveness. Depending on outcomes and feedback, we may produce a revised Guideline in the future.

The Committee drafted this Guideline using a consultative process that included reviewing written submissions, consulting with a wide range of industry representatives, and holding a strategic workshop comprised of working group members. Input was used from organizations representing the utilities industries, forestry, and oil and gas. A similar process will be followed for future guidelines.

Source: Wildfire Tools and Suppression System Guidelines for Forestry Crews

View the full 17-page IRP Proposal by using the link at the top of this page.